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Priest joins SMC Campus Ministry

Mandi Stirone | Friday, August 25, 2006

After having only two-part time priests at Saint Mary’s last year, Father John Pearson joined the College this fall as a full-time priest on the Campus Ministry team.

“I love to preach, I love Mass, [and] I love to be able to help people learn to worship better,” he said. “It’s something I’ve loved to do my whole priesthood.”

Campus Ministry director Judith Fean said she is pleased with the selection. Pearson was chosen after an interview process to be a full-time campus minister responsible for sacramental ministries, she said.

During his high school years, Pearson served Mass for sisters of the Church of Loretto, which granted him an early connection to the College. Pearson said he was attracted to the smaller size of the school, which he hopes will allow him to meet many people.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me,” said Pearson, who will be involved in a number of activities including Sunday and daily masses, reconciliation and liturgy preparation. “I am very much excited to be part of the Saint Mary’s family.”

Originally from Chicago, Pearson came to South Bend when he was 14 years old to enter high school at Holy Cross Seminary at Notre Dame. Though he previously wanted to be a professional baseball player for his favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, Pearson ultimately settled on the priesthood and was ordained in September of 1973.

After high school, Pearson served as a novice in Minnesota for a year. He then attended college and graduate school at Notre Dame, where he completed an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in theology.

Pearson later worked at Notre Dame’s Law School and lived in Sorin Hall. He also served as chaplain for graduate students, led an occasional dorm Mass at the University and became director of the White Center.

Pearson applied for the full-time position at Saint Mary’s after 15 years serving the Law School.